Funmi Iyanda said she has been victim of harassment even on national television because of her dress. According to her, a church she once attended at 17 told her to cut off her hair because they felt it was seductive.
“Once, a live caller said to me on TV ‘this one you are always talking about rape, just tell us you have been rape and let’s hear word.’ Through my eight years on national TV, l was constantly harassed to cover up even when fully clothed and some states in the north won’t air “me.”
“I genuinely hated being held responsible for the people’s reactions to my femininity. Sometimes my collarbone was the offending part,” she said. She said further that, “A certain show with my friend Agatha Amata was never aired because she wore a long dress that didn’t cover her arms. It is never about the dress, I was punished by the church as a teenager for wearing seductive hair, exact same hair another girl wore.
“My greatest pain is that a decade later, l’m still mediating same arguments about rape, feminism, humanity and tolerance to a new generation.
“I never forgot that ‘seductive hair’ experience. I was 17. The church elder, male, took a pair of scissors and cut my hair at the root. A culture of patriarchy props rape. Men as well as women suffer under patriarchy. Those unacknowledged sufferings often underpin rape culture.
“Patriarchy positions men to mimic God. Men are not gods, they fail. The sense of powerlessness prompt violence. Rape is a crime of power. It is in the best interests of both women and men to unbundle patriarchy and organise society to function for progress and quality of all.”